Sep 12

I Want You in My Bible Study Group!

Hey Sweet Friends!  I hope y’all are doing so great today!  Just wanted to invite you again to join the next Proverbs 31 Online Bible Study of The Best Yes with me!  It will take place on the P31 OBS Study Blog and it begins September 22nd. The study is free, you just need The Best Yes by Lysa TerKeurst, which you can order through Proverbs 31 Ministries or pick up a copy almost anywhere (even Wal-Mart and Target!)

Are you wondering what it’s like to do an online study or if it’s for you?  Read this blog post below that I wrote on the P31 OBS blog today and hopefully you will consider joining us!  Please comment and let me know if you do.  I would REALLY LOVE to have you in my Bible study group!

Thanks friends! Hope you have a great weekend!

Why Online Bible Studies?

September 12, 2014 by 

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Why do I lead online Bible studies?  I get that question a lot. And people have varying opinions about it, that’s for sure.  For example, here are two letters I’ve received with differing opinions about online studies:

First Meet “Not a Fan”~

Dear Melissa,

Why did you start doing online Bible studies on your blog?  Isn’t it much better to be in a real group in your area?  Online is so impersonal.  People can be so fake. I just wanted to let you know that although I think you mean well, I think being in real relationships in person is so much better than sitting behind a computer doing Bible study.

Sincerely,

Monica

And now meet “A Fan”~

Hi Melissa Taylor!

I just wanted to thank you for trusting God when he changed your direction in ministry. The Online Bible Studies have been a huge part in my growth in my relationship with Jesus. My husband and I have grown so much the last 5 years! Relearning what success looks like, how to raise our two boys, loving on God’s people …We make things so much more complicated than it really is. It’s all about relationship, isn’t it?  I’m just so thankful for you and your heart for Jesus. It just shines through in our studies. Not having time to go to a study at church with raising a family and working full time, I wouldn’t give up my 5:15 am Bible study with you girls for anything!  Such a sweet time. Me and my Jesus, my coffee, and P31 OBS. Thank you so much for all of your hard work, sacrifice, and prayer. Please know that what you do makes such a difference in furthering HIS Kingdom!

Paige

The points made in both of these letters are valid. But Paige understands our purpose because she is a woman who needs what we offer.  Monica already has a group close to her that she is a part of. We would never want to replace that!  Our purpose isn’t to replace or provide a face-to-face experience. There are others already doing that. Our purpose is this:

We share Real Hope, for Real Life by providing the finest in online Bible study and community for women all over the world.

Our focus is online Bible study and online community.  We use various tools to help us do this. Our blog on the Proverbs 31 Ministries Website is the main one, but we also utilize social media sites like FacebookTwitterPinterest and Instagram. We use videos, conference calls, webcasts, study books and most importantly God’s Word, the Bible.

I started these online Bible studies because I had to drop out of my wonderful small group.  I loved that group so much, but my work and family schedules just didn’t allow me to be a consistent participant in that group. My Best Yes was to drop out of something I loved.

But I didn’t want to abandon Bible study all together. I needed community. I wanted to continue in my study of godly messages and God’s Word with a group of women. And so almost four years ago, I did just that on my personal blog. As it turned out, there were many women in the same boat as I am. And some in other boats too! For instance:

  • women who don’t have access to a group in their area
  • women who have been hurt by the church and therefore were reluctant to do Bible study
  • women who aren’t even sure they really believe in God
  • women who are intimidated by church or Bible study
  • women who are home-bound
  • women who are busy
  • women who are unable to commit to a certain time each week to be at a Bible study
  • women who want to learn in a safe place how to do Bible study
  • women who desire an authentic community that is safe and welcoming
  • women who are haunted by their past
  • women who need hope today
  • women who simply wanted to try something new, and found they loved our community

Fortunately, I receive many more letters of gratitude than criticism! Here’s the deal. I hope Monica always has that special face-to-face group to be a part of. That’s awesome! But if one day her life changes and that’s no longer an option, we’ll be here. Some ladies join us for a season, and some have been with us since January, 2011.

We want you to join us. You are welcome here no matter who you are, what your life is like, where you live, and what lifestyle you lead. We just want to share the love of God, His life-giving Word and our friendship with you. That. Is. All.

And we hope you’ll participate too!  Our comment section is just for you, so let us hear from you. We will try our best to encourage you, but we need you to encourage us and others too. We want to know your struggles and celebrations throughout the study.

So, why did you join The Best Yes Online Bible Study?  Who can invite TODAY to join?  I promise you that our team will do everything we can to make this the finest online Bible study and community you could ever be a part of!

If you missed the special invite from Lysa TerKeurst, click here to watch the video. It’s short and sweet and will only take 2 minutes of your time :)

If you’d like to share this video with your friends here’s the link to share in email, Facebook, Twitter, or wherever you choose. http://vimeo.com/105868632#t=0s Or you can click it and once you get to the video, scroll to and click the paper airplane icon in the top right. That will give you your sharing options.

Proverbs 31 Ministries OBS - The Best Yes Welcome from Proverbs 31 Ministries on Vimeo.

Have a great weekend! Online Bible Study begins in just a little over ONE WEEK!

xoxoxo,
Melissa

- See more at: http://proverbs31.org/online-bible-studies/2014/09/12/why-online-bible-studies/#comment-193788

Melissa
Aug 12

It’s a Best Yes Kind of Day!

Hi Sweet Friends!

If you are participating in the current Proverbs 31 Online Bible Study, you might have seen this over there. But I know not all of you are and I’m personally so excited about it, I wanted to share on my personal blog too!

Check this out!

Today is AWESOME and we are celebrating BIG!

Around Proverbs 31 Ministries, we’ve been waiting for this day for months! That’s because we KNOW how GREAT Lysa TerKeurst’s next book, The Best Yes is! And we want you to know too!

For today only: 12:00 am-11:59 pm ET (yep, check your time zones, gotta be Easter Time Zone times).

TBY_sale_socialmedia-01

Visit the Proverbs 31 Bookstore to purchase! 

And tonight is a very special night! It’s The Best Yes Live Webcast!

The Best YesWebcast Graphic[6]

Visit Lysa’s blog to watch The Best Yes webcast tonight! Lysa has a great message and some very special guests. I’m so over the top excited about this, I don’t think I will sleep the night before! (check in later to see if I got any sleep or not!)

And finally~ if all this isn’t good enough…guess what our next Online Bible Study will be?  Yep, you guessed it! The Best Yes! And you can sign up NOW! Go ahead! Visit the P31 OBS page for details. Sign ups are there! We think this will be our biggest and best OBS ever. (Ok, so I always say that! But I think it’s true!) I hope you will join us to be a part of it.

I hope you are as excited as I am about this! And did you know about ALL THE PROCEEDS from this book? ALL of them? Guess who is getting not ONE CENT from the sales of The Best Yes?  Yep, the author, Lysa TerKeurst. She’s giving it all away. You can read about that here.

Well, enjoy ladies! Love you all and hope you have a Best Yes kind of day!

Hey Y’all, let me know if you will be at the webcast or are watching it. And if you are signing up for The Best Yes OBS! I’ll be tweeting it up and Facebooking from the webcast tonight!  #TheBestYes

Melissa
Aug 7

My Top 10 Ways to Connect With Your Children

Hey Blog Friends!  It’s so great to sit with you today for a little bit. I’m enjoying a cup of coffee with Italian Sweet Cream flavored creamer in it. Delish! And since it’s soooo hot here in North Carolina, I dropped a few ice cubes in it! Oh the little things in life that bring us pleasure~

Today, I have the pleasure of talking with author, Jeannie Cunnion. She wrote the book Parenting the Wholehearted Child.  Her message is so refreshing in our hurried world of trying to be a perfect parent.  As I was preparing for my chat with her, I remembered something I’d written a few years back about connecting with my children. I wrote this four years ago and even though things have changed in my family, I still agree with the list. I wouldn’t change a thing!

One disclaimer~ This Top 10 List of mine didn’t produce perfect children in my household, in fact, far from it! But it has helped me stay on track and remember what’s important. It’s also helped me communicate to my kids that they are always loved no matter what.  I think if I could add one more to it, it would be about disagreements. Agree to disagree, speak the truth in love, and forgive and move on.

Kids at MK 2014

Dylan (17), Hayden (19), Hayley Grace (13), Blake (21)~ June, 2014

Top Ten Ways to Connect With Your Children

It ranks among one of my top priorities in life. I know my time with them is borrowed. My own mother told me to make the most of the time I have with my children, because it will be gone before I know it. Wow, isn’t that the truth?  But what exactly does it mean “to make the most of the time” we have with our kids?  I think a lot of it has to do with the ways we choose to connect with them.  There are many ways we can find to bond with our children. Here are my Top Ten.

10.  Ignore your cell phone when you are with them. Let it ring and let the caller leave a message!  Send the message to your child that they are #1 and way more important than anyone who may be calling you.

9.  Show up. Be there for their special days, no matter how little or big the event or the child is.

8.  Game Time. Playing games is a great way to just hang out, be competitive, insert values when they don’t realize it, and just have fun! There are so many fun family games. Just last night, I observed my 9 year old daughter playing “Go Fish” with my husband. It was the tiniest deck of cards you ever did see, but they were laughing and having the best time.

7.  One on one time. Be intentional on having some time just for you and one of your children. For me, this is tough sometimes. I have to make this happen. For example, my daughter and I have a lot of time alone and we do a regular Mommy~Daughter date night, but my sons and I don’t.  (We used to, but since they have gotten older, not so much.) I have to create that time so I try to select an activity that will intrigue them…like going to Starbucks, to a sports store just to look around, to a movie then ice cream, or sitting in the garage to listen to the drums.  The activity isn’t so important as the time is.

6.  Family Devotions. Priceless. If you can get your whole family together for some Family Time Devotions and discussion, do it!!!!  It’s a great time to have the opportunity to bring God’s Word to life and learn to apply to real life. My kids learned how to look up Bible verses because of family devotions.

5.  Car Time/Bedtime. You have a captive audience in the car, don’t let that time slip by.  Talk to them. Pay attention to what they want to listen to on the radio and let them listen to it.  Ask them about their day. And at bedtime, tuck them in.  Again, you have a captive audience. Sometimes this is when your kids will just unload. For some reason mine seem to let their guards down at bedtime. Pray for them and let them hear you.

4.  Family Meals. Whether you are a single mom or the mom of six, try to make time for a meal together. Not only does it encourage conversation, but also table manners.  We used to all have breakfast together. Something we like to incorporate into our Dinner time is reporting the  High-Lows:  Each person reveals their high of the day and their low of the day. Quite telling.

3.  Get interested in what they love even if it’s not what you love. Find out the best way for THEM to communicate. This may not be your #1 way. Follow them on Facebook.  Look at their iTunes music files. Play their video games. Get to know their friends and love them. Text them.

2.  Talk to them about anything! And listen too! From early on, let them know that they can ask anything, talk to you about anything, or approach you with any subject.  NOTHING is off limits. Oh I have stories on this one!

1. Be available. Show your children that they matter by being available to them.

And finally, one I can’t leave off.

*Pray for them. Pray a specific verse for them. Let them know you are doing this. It may be a life verse you have claimed for them or just a prayer you have on your heart that day. This is a way you can connect with them EVEN IF THEY DON’T RESPOND TO THE OTHER 10 SUGGESTIONS.

So, now that you’ve read mine, what do you think?  What would you add to it that has been good for you?  Share with me today in the comment section and you’ll be entered to win Jeannie Cunnion’s book, Parenting the Wholehearted Child! Winner will be randomly selected and notified via email. Can’t wait to hear from you!

Melissa